The World’s Most Expensive Cat Strikes Again

Things were just too quiet around here, I think. That’s the only reason that Mabeline, The World’s Most Expensive Cat, decided that it was time for her health to take another turn. Over the last few months, she just couldn’t get enough water. Some days, we were filling up the Auxiliary Water Bowl (Location, our bedroom, too close to my head while the cat is lapping at it desperately) at least twice. We started calling her Doris, after this picture that bubbled up through my Tumblr dashboard.

Turns out, if your cat is enjoying the fruits of the water bowl while not even bothering to stand up, it might be time for a visit to the Mean Lady Vet. I mean, yes, it’s hilarious, but also dangerous.

Mean Lady Vet (who is actually quite nice, but always puts TWMEC through the indignity of a thermometer in an indelicate place) suggested that Mabeline get a Senior Blood Panel, just to check everything out. I mean, I know that she was an adult when we got her eight years ago, but if we spent time thinking about the limited lifespan of our pets we might never get them at all. Senior, though. Nobody likes the equivalent of an AARP card, whether you’re my father or a cranky calico cat. Two days later, we received the bad news.

NB: Not my cat

It turns out that cat diabetes is fairly common and not, as I assumed immediately, The End of the World. To be fair, I kind of assume something is The End of the World about six times a day, but diabetes is allowed to vault to the top of the list, I think. I was dispatched to procure insulin and syringes. Name on prescription bottle: Mabeline the Cat Evans.

And then we had to learn how to give insulin shots. P was stalwart, and so was my mom, who came over to learn how to give the injections, too. I have a needle phobia, though, so I was probably more afraid than Mabeline as we jabbed her and filled her with saline solution.

(But Eliza, you say. You have holes filled with metal in your face. You have multiple tattoos. Aren’t those things, well, needle-riffic? To which I reply: I contain multitudes and also Xanax.)

The good thing is that, since we stuff her with treats so she won’t notice the jab, Mabeline has adapted to her new medication regime much easier than we have. Our days are marked in twelve-hour increments, now, and many watchful hours beyond that to make sure her blood sugar doesn’t get too low, my heart in my throat as I have to decide whether she is lethargic or just her lazy self. I have a bottle of Karo syrup in my cabinet, just in case. I’ve learned to roll the insulin bottle gently in my hands, the same motion I use with a bottle of nail polish, to mix the medicine in with the medium. To insert the tip of the syringe into the bottle, through some sort of self-sealing cap, and make sure there’s no air bubble as the liquid whooshes into the barrel. To hold her by the scruff, like a mother cat, so I can find exactly the spot to push the needle in.

I have the morning shift, to use the needle before I’m awake enough to think about the existential horror of what I’m actually doing.

We are doing what we can.

I have learned the importance of rituals, of focusing on actually doing something instead of what I would have done before, which is ruminate and panic and never stop thinking about what this means for Mabeline and for us as her caretakers. I’m really good at borrowing trouble, as my mother says, but this is an opportunity not to do that. To focus on what’s right in front of me, right now. To see how, even after a couple of days Mabeline feels so much better already, standing beside the side of my bed and demanding, via a series of chirps and manipulative purrs, to be placed up next to me, please. I have that with her today and that’s what counts.

The rest can wait.

They really could have used a more sensitive name for her cat scratcher.


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Poor Expensive Cat! And poorer you (both pity and vet bills).

My cat, Mr. Peterson is on Prozac, and has been for some time. I always enjoy picking up the meds. “Last name?” “Krause.” “First name?” “Uh, Mr. Peterson… she’s my cat.” Sometimes they can’t find the script because it can be filed under K, P, or sometimes M.

I cannot believe that thing says double wide. More indignity! I hope Mabeline can’t read.

I’m glad it’s working its way toward becoming just another thing. I had no idea you had needlephobia, or else I would have been much more there-there-y when you first mentioned her diagnosis. Eventually, somehow it becomes just a thing. And you are doing it and she’s feeling okay, and I’m pretty sure that’s all that matters.

(Also, Robynlicious, I am grinning like a fool at Mr. Peterson’s name, jsyk.)

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